I don't spend much time keeping up on club music these days, but I perked up when I saw that New York-born, Rio de Janeiro-based DJ Maga Bo
has a new album, Quilombo do Futuro
(Post World Industries), due May 22. I first heard him in 2008 when he performed at Chicago's World Music Festival, and at the time I remarked on the scarcity of sounds from his adopted homeland on his album Archipelagos
: "Though he's from Rio de Janeiro, little on the disc is recognizably Brazilian; using a laptop and a microphone, he's woven the contributions of singers and MCs from Morocco, South Africa, Portugal, Tanzania, and Senegal, among other places, into a thunderous programmed-and-sampled mix of hip-hop, dancehall, drum 'n' bass, and various traditional rhythms. When he incorporates live instruments like oud, qanun, kora, and tabla, they fit naturally, without diluting the propulsive power of his trunk-rattling beats—more evidence that he's got some of the smartest ears in the game."
I haven't had enough time to properly digest the new album, but it definitely does incorporate plenty of Brazil's rich panoply of native music, from electronic genres like baile funk to old-school rhythms like maracatu and samba. None of those borrowings are uncut, though—Maga Bo mixes shit up, flavoring his dense mix with grooves and styles from all around the globe. Each track features one or more guest vocalists, from the great Brazilian MC BNegão to Chicago's own MC Zulu. Today's 12 O'Clock Track is another heavy thumper featuring Rosângela Macedo and Marcelo Yuka (of popular Brazilian reggae-rock band O Rappa).
Maga Bo, "No Balanço da Canoa"